(Barracuda) is shutting down

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Suddenly my computer tells me that is shutting down as a cloud storage service. That sucks, since I had a few terabytes of free storage with them.

I will now have to seek an alternative. What are your experiences with cloud storage, free or otherwise?

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31 thoughts on “ (Barracuda) is shutting down

  1. I get 1Tbyte of cloud storage from Microsoft for 1.99 per month – so about $24 per year.

    I signed up in response to an email – so I don’t know if the fee has gone up or not.

    Pretty easy – I get billed automatically via paypal monthly.

  2. I use Google Drive; I have 1 TB of space (free for 3 years because I bought a Chromebook).

    Fast, ubiquitous, good drivers (Linux, Windows, ChromeOS), reliable, fairly good web interface for browsing, drag & drop, viewing.

    And seamless integration with Google Docs and Gmail.

    I like it.

  3. Gosh, speaking as the resident paranoid (well, one of them perhaps), I would not use any “cloud” storage system. Why make it easy for the government (all of them) to grab your private data?

  4. My private data would put them to sleep. (Or make their eyes cross.)

    We’re talking about things like photos of my cats and obscure Linux admin procedures. WHO CARES?

    Ironically, the most “sensitive” data I have is, in fact, known quite well to the government already. (E.g., tax returns.)

    Best use I’ve had so far for cloud storage:
    * Capturing procedures, how-to’s, and templates for doing sys admin. Can access anywhere there’s a net connection.
    * Storing files needed to build/rebuild/update my machines.
    * Storing those family photos…
    * Storing music…

    I.e., most of it is either “open source” stuff scraped off useful websites, or pictures of Aunt Millie and/or my cats that no one cares about anyway.

    I do NOT, EVER store any “sensitive” documents in the cloud. Why should I? (And if I did feel the need, I can create crypto containers for file systems that would give the NSA fits & starts trying to decrypt and make sense of any of it…)

  5. The assorted crackers and criminals would have a much better time breaking into home PCs to riffle through sensitive data than they would trying to crack a cloud service.

    Most Microsoft Windows systems are open books, and no one that I know of puts sensitive data in the cloud.

    Again, why??? (And yes, this does suggest that most people would be better served, security-wise, to keep their sensitive data “in the cloud” and never, never, never on their Microsoft Windows PC.

    Perception, as always, is ironic…

  6. Heh. Just as a general principle, don’t underestimate the NSA’s ability to get into things.

    Also, don’t underestimate what information motivated people can glean and assemble about you from mundane details of your life. It’s not just about credit card numbers etc. It could be marketers looking for better ways to categorize and manipulate you. It could be criminals casing your schedule, property, and social connections. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it creepy.

  7. Just to stir the pot, I’ll put it to Greg in anthropological/evolutionary terms. What are the security trade offs of running with a herd vs. being distributed in an electronic ecosystem run (farmed, herded) by a chaotic oligarchy?

  8. Perhaps I just practice “good computing hygiene” as a matter of course… I use a scheme better than any ad blocker I know of, surf the net only from Linux, keep PI off the network and clouds, I know how to encrypt anything that goes over a wire, “cash is king”, I watch my back, and I never (NEVER) use social media of any type, and –perhaps most importantly– I never associate with anyone or anything that the NSA would want to take notice of.

    That said, just having a SECRET clearance has subjected me to more scrutiny by shadowy gummit bureaus than most people… Like I said, the most sensitive info about me that exists is held by Uncle Sam anyway. Maybe that inures oneself against the creepy factor??

    1. Brainstorms: Perhaps I just practice “good computing hygiene” as a matter of course… I use a scheme better than any ad blocker I know of, surf the net only from Linux, keep PI off the network and clouds, I know how to encrypt anything that goes over a wire, “cash is king”, I watch my back, and I never (NEVER) use social media of any type, and –perhaps most importantly– I never associate with anyone or anything that the NSA would want to take notice of.

      It’s just basic common sense to protect one’s privacy. Eighteen years ago I was pinged “on the radar” of national security when rumors, and an official complaint, were spread that I had access to offensive missiles and launch capabilities. Seriously: the Riverside County, California, Sheriff’s office liaised with with the Los Angeles FBI sub-station to interrogate me on the subject. Investigators (public, private, and political) were hired to follow me around, sit next to me in restaurants, and report on everything I said and did.

      It was…. flattering.

  9. Rather than “run with the herd”, I find it’s best to know how to fly over the herd…

    Or, spend your internetworked life being one of the guys in the coveralls who gets access to and knows the workings of the “Machine Room”s of the computing world.

  10. It’s just basic common sense to protect one’s privacy.

    Yes, and I do more so than most. I still goggles my mind to talk to Millennials and hear them tell me that having their privacy taken away as a matter of course by social media, et al, is “no big deal to us”.

  11. I’m with you, Desertphile. I don’t use cloud storage. However, it’s not because of privacy concerns. Rather, I refuse to trust my data to hardware that may become inaccessible without warning. Power failure at the server farm, a fire or flood, backhoe fade, even a simple hard disk failure, would keep me from my data for an indefinite period. Sure, they’d be using RAID storage, so I’d almost certainly get it back in due course.

    And yes, my own hardware could fail at any time. But I’d probably have some warning, and I’m faithful with backups.

    The one exception to this policy is my Web site. Even there, I keep a local copy.

  12. You’d probably favor Google’s cloud storage then. They do an amazing job to ensure security and availability. When you upload data to Google Drive, it does not simply go to “a RAID storage device in a building housing a server farm somewhere”.

    Google takes your files, encrypts them, chops them up, and distributes multiple copies of the pieces to server farms around the globe. No one facility has all the pieces of any file, nor is any one file only in one facility.

    So, in this way, good luck hacking your files, or for that backhoe to cut you off from getting them back. Disk failure? That’s like a neuron dying in your brain… Your memories are all still there, still accessible — because of the distributed nature of your brain’s data storage.

    Dem Google Guys is smart…

  13. I would never put stuff ONLY in the cloud. I use the cloud for one main purpose: As my off site backup.

    Second use, also important, for a subset of what I’ve got, to have a few directories mirrored on two or three machines that I move between.

    Third use: To share a directory with a bunch of files, or a file, with someone.

    I have nothing in the cloud I don’t have on my main hard drive and a second backup hard drive. Both of which would be destroyed if my house is hit with a meteor. Thus, the cloud. Hopefully it will not be too big of a meteor.

  14. Given the typical internet site data rates, I look at cloud storage as following the model of “Put in your request in the evening, and by tomorrow morning, it will have been fulfilled.”

    Anyone who’s into “instant gratification” and loves today’s fast machines will be hit with the dissonance of “relax, and go get a beer while you’re waiting” if they try to use the cloud as a “convenient universal hard drive” for daily work. Mostly so for big files…

    Backing up is probably fine — because you want that done at night, while you sleep, anyway…

    But in my case, it’s over an encrypted internet link to a machine that *I* built and control, not to a public cloud service. That meteor would need to make a crater more than 100 miles in diameter to hope for a chance of knocking out my house and my backup site.

    But I do things that way because I can…

  15. So your backup site is at work or something?

    I had been thinking of setting up with someone else, like my father in law three towns over, to share a backup system, encrypted drives at both locations mirroring with a simply intertoobule linkup.

  16. No, not at work! I’d get in trouble for that… It’s an old P4 machine I keep at my parents’ house, sitting next to their PC, connected to their LAN.

    I’m doing just what you described: My system at home (actually my file server at home; I have multiple PCs & laptops) mirrors itself every night over an encrypted link to the machine in my parents’ house. I use an ‘rsync’ cron job for that, which runs at 1am.

    And, since I’ve also converted my parents to Linux (when Ubuntu 8.04 debuted), I have a cheap, old PC set up in my house that does that same thing to mirror their desktop PC. Their laptop backs up to their desktop prior to the desktop doing so to my house. (Actually, the machine I set up for them receives mirror backups from my in-laws’ machine, too.)

    And, since I converted my best friend to Linux some years ago, and he’s running a business out of his house (pro photographer), I built him a Linux server with about 6 TB of RAID-1 storage. It mirrors to a similar PC in my house every night, too.

    We all have fast cable modems, with 50+ Mbps down, and 5-10 Mbps up, so unless my buddy shot GB of images that day, everything “clears” by morning. If not, it keeps transferring throughout the day. Since the bottleneck is the upload rate, no one’s modem is choked; receiving backup data takes ~10% per machine, and backups that extend into the day are uncommon.

    (On the rare occasion that it takes > 24 hours to complete a backup transfer, the cron job kills any existing session first, then restarts a new one; ‘rsync -P’ simply continues where it left off…)

    For security, I use a nifty open-source stealth port knocker called “FWKNOP” (FireWall KNock OPerator) that requires an encrypted packet to silently open an obscure port on the other end just long enough to connect an SSH tunnel. Rsync, of course, tunnels through using SSH…

  17. Have I ever had to use the backups? Yes, maybe 3 times in the last 5 years that I recall. Including, once, my buddy’s server, which had its file system scrambled in a utility power failure. (I keep harping on replacing the dead batteries in the big UPS I talked him into buying…)

    Did I use the internet to restore his system? Are you kidding? Wanna do the same with your 5 TB held by Carbonite? Are you kidding? Here’s where my scheme has also paid for itself…

    Since all our servers are built with RAID-1 drive arrays, I simply split his mirrors and drove over to his house with his mirror disks. Then I removed the mirrors from his corrupted server and swapped in the mirrors from his backup unit. After bringing up his server and restoring its identity (machine name & IP address), I re-added his useless corrupted disks to the “transplanted” RAID array.

    The server was immediately usable, and started healing its array — which took hours to complete. (Transferring the data over the network would have taken WEEKS.) When I got home (and his machine was 100% again — so that his data was safe), I did the same with his backup machine; soon it, too, was back to 100%. Both machines were usable the entire time, except when I was physically swapping disks.

    No proprietary backup software needed, no backup service to pay for, no slow restores over the internet, very little downtime, I’m in full control, it’s fully secure, and we can log into our backup machines to retrieve individual files to restore. (I’ve had to do that a few times myself.)

    I plan to change the nightly ‘rsync’ mirrors to a COW scheme — Copy On Write — using something like ‘rdiff-backup’. That will create a system like Apple’s Time Machine, that will keep older versions of files, too, not just the latest (which are, at most, 24 hours old). Currently, if you don’t recover your lost/corrupt file within a day, it’s gone. And of course, it may take more than a day to realize you need an older version of a file…

  18. Well, it’s cheap, it’s faster, and it works — unattended, every night. I think it’s more secure, too, but that’s debatable.

    Faster, in the sense of recovery. Backing up is about the same speed as using the cloud (a cloud service, such as Carbonite), but restoring a disk crash is hugely faster — because it doesn’t depend on my data dripping back into my machine via the internet.

    “Just add Linux.. and go!”

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